This past week has been full of amazing shows. I’ve seen a bit of everything from The Struts and their 80’s revivalist vibe to Sum 41’s nostalgic hits. It’s truly been an exciting week and Sunday night was no different. Having seen the headliner Power Trip before, I knew what was to come and to say I was excited would be an understatement.
The show was kicked off by Red Death from Washington D.C. Wasting no time, the group jumped right into a set that was full of fury and power. Their sound was a unique blend of hardcore and metal with some aspects of trash and punk sprinkled on top. The singer had a very brutal and sinister vibe to his voice but it wasn’t overly aggressive. Although it had a couple of the audience members making some room for a pit in the middle of the floor, there wasn’t anything too extreme about what was going on. I’m all about extreme but I loved the way that Red Death eased us in for what was to come after them. That being said, there wasn’t anything boring about their set either and I am already looking forward to a chance to catch this group again sooner rather than later.
Following Red Death was Fury. I’ve been scouring the web for information on these guys but that has proven next to impossible. I can’t tell you where they are from or what any of the member’s names are but I can tell you that their quick set completely blew me out of the water. There was something quirky about this band but I don’t know exactly what that was. Maybe it was the way the singer was kind of screaming but kind of also just talking in rhythm at times. Maybe it was the way that, like Red Death, there was a sense of intensity about Fury’s set but it wasn’t overwhelming. Regardless of what it was about this band, I was completely sold within the first song and found myself bummed out when it came to an end. Fury clearly had some die hard fans in the audience that were singing along to every words. This made me hopeful that we will get a return visit from them soon and you best believe I will be anxiously awaiting that announcement.
Sheer Mag from Philadelphia was up next and, like the previous two bands, I found myself falling head over heels for this act within the first couple of notes. The sound of Sheer Mag was a bit of a throwback to the 70’s punk scene but there was still something extremely current and modern about it. Singer Tina Halladay never really moved around much but there was still something extremely energetic about her presence. The music seemed to be the least extreme of the night but the crowd also seemed to be more attentive. Maybe it was because they weren’t busy watching for flying feet and arms from the pit but the audience seemed to truly enjoy Sheer Mag’s set. For being a bit of an outlier on the bill (what with not being as heavy and dark as the rest), Sheer Mag did a great job of keeping the audience interested and captivated. Although their set was a bit longer than the two bands before them, it still seemed as if it was too short for my liking.
Ending the stacked night of music was the one and only Power Trip. As I mentioned, I had seen these guys before but due to an extremely late start time on a work night, I was only able to catch a couple of songs. Those couple of songs instantly made me a fan and I had been looking forward to a second chance at catching them live ever since that. Well, last night was my chance and to say the stakes were high would be an understatement. My exhaustion was getting the best of me and I was starting to worry that I would, once again, only make it through a couple of songs before throwing in the towel and heading home to get at least a little bit of sleep before work. That’s when the Dallas, Texas band took the stage and any thought of throwing in the towel went right out the window.
Since 2008, Power Trip have been one of the few bands in the scene that is able to seemlessly blend hardcore and thrash metal. Sure, many bands may try but they just can’t do it like Power Trip can. Add a truly explosive set into the mix and you are left with the reason that I am still exhausted. There was not a fancy light show and no smoke and mirrors. Last night’s set was just full of great music played by people who actually give a damn about what they’re doing and playing– not just how it would look from the crowd’s perspective. Although I was busy watching these masters play their instruments with an undeniable sense of precision and care, majority of the crowd seemed to be busy turning into a sweaty mess of limbs. Within the first song or two I had already spotted a crowd surfer and a stage diver. That may not seem out of the ordinary but it is. Most people wait until at least half way into a set to start diving and surfing but, even with the modest Sunday night crowd, people just couldn’t contain their excitement.
I knew there was something about this band that I loved that fateful night I saw them the first time. Sure, I only caught a couple of songs but I knew there was something about them. Catching Power Trip last night just solidified that idea and, thankfully, I was finally able to catch the band’s whole set instead of just a song or two. The fact that the energy radiating off the stage as the final note rang out was at about the same level as when the members first stormed the stage said everything I needed to know.
For most people, Sunday’s are meant for playing catch up and preparing for the upcoming week. For me, Sunday’s are all about setting the tone for the upcoming week with whatever show I end up at. This week is going to be a good week.